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Ask Gives Mobile Directions Without Typing


Ask.com, everybody’s favorite underdog search engine, has long made great efforts in local/mobile areas. Last May, for example, they launched Ask Mobile GPS with Sprint phones. Now they’re announcing the first search-engine–sponsored voice directions on mobile phones. Called Click to Speak, the service is designed to:

speak their location and desired destination to receive directions on their web-enabled mobile devices. Easy to use, it eliminates typing addresses, which can be slow, error-prone and, in some cases, unsafe. Available immediately, “Click to Speak” incorporates unique technology from Dial Directions, the leading provider of voice-activated location-based services.

The first question, of course, is “How much does it cost?” Good news for the frugal among us: it’s free (though carrier charges may apply).

How does it work, then? From the initial description, it sounds as though you call up the service, but actually you connect to Ask.com’s website on the mobile Internet (www.ask.com or m.ask.com). Select Directions, then Click to SPEAK.

This offering from Ask compliments their other mobile offerings well. In the mobile arena, Ask has strongly emphasized their local- and mobile-specific offerings, and consistently tried to streamline their mobile experience.

But the ultimate question is, of course, how well does it work? I’ll let you know.

  • http://www.goodnightmoonfuton.com Futon-Matt

    That sounds like an interesting idea, no pun intended. :)

    Matt

  • Erin

    Hey Jordan,

    At first glance I thought this would be kind of cool. But then I remembered how awful it is to be on the phone with a computerized operator and how difficult it is when they don’t understand what you’re talking about!

    I just called the number from http://www.dialdirections.com and so far so good. I told the phone I was calling from Durham, NC and I was looking to go to Starbucks. She understood and repeated, “Durham, NC” and “Starbucks.” Then she asked my location and I said, “Cornwallis and Fayetteville” Again, she was dead on the nose. THEN she tells me the closest starbucks is 97 miles away in Lynchburg, VA. And really, I’m pretty sure Lynchburg is more than an hour and a half away from Durham.

    Guess I’ll be sticking to Google Maps until I get GPS in the car.

    Happy New Year

  • http://www.thevanblog.com Steven Bradley

    The proof will be in how well it works and how useful it turns out to be, but it does sound like a great idea.

    Now I need to go for a long drive and get myself lost to see if Ask can help me find my way home.

  • http://www.englishblinds.co.uk Wooden Pete

    Only of use if you don’t already have satellite navigation. And nearly everyone i know has, so i don’t know how successful it will be.